Kosovo's ex-anti-graft prosecutor jailed for bribe

A European Union-run court on Thursday sentenced Kosovo's former top anti-graft prosecutor to five years in prison for corruption, said the EU's rule-of-law mission.

Nazmi Mustafi, former head of the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo (SPRK), was found guilty of "abusing his official position", the EULEX mission said in a press release.

Mustafi was charged with taking money to stop an investigation and cancel a former official's house arrest.

He "was also convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm," the statement said.

"Mustafi received an aggregate sentence of five years imprisonment," a 10,000-euro ($13,000) fine and "is also prohibited from holding public office for a period of three years after his release," the statement said.

Three other defendants were sentenced to six-month to four-year prison terms for assisting Mustafi, who also formerly headed the SPRK's Anti-Corruption Task Force.

The task force was established by Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 to deal with high-profile graft cases.

Corruption continues to be a serious problem in Kosovo, with international and local watchdogs warning that Pristina lacks the political will to fight it.

In 2012, Kosovo ranked 105th out of 176 countries on watchdog Transparency International's annual corruption index.

EULEX was launched in Kosovo just months after its declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 and has the power to step in and prosecute cases considered too sensitive for the local judiciary.